Social Work Services for Children with Disabilities - Edinburgh Council

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Oct 8, 2013 - Contact: Carol Chalmers, Service Manager for Disability. E-mail: ... Notes the progress made within social
Education, Children and Families Committee 10am, Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Social Work Services for Children with Disabilities: Annual Progress Report

Item number


Report number Wards


Links Coalition pledges


Council outcomes

CO1, CO2, CO3, CO4, CO5, CO6

Single Outcome Agreement


Gillian Tee Director of Children and Families

Contact: Carol Chalmers, Service Manager for Disability E-mail: [email protected] | Tel: 0131 469 3348

Executive summary Social Work Services for Children with Disabilities: Annual Progress Report Summary The Education, Children and Families Committee received a report from Social Work services for disability in October 2012. This report is to update the Committee on the progress over the past year.

Recommendations To recommend that the Education, Children and Families Committee: 1. Notes the progress made within social work services for children with disabilities. 2. Requests a further report on progress in September 2014.

Measures of success Extent to which families have the support they need. Increased respite support of up to six weeks from 2014.

Financial impact The financial implications are currently met by existing revenue budgets or from the Early Years Change Fund.

Equalities impact The issues discussed within this report will continue to advance equality of opportunity for children/young people and their families.

Sustainability impact There are no adverse environmental impacts from this report.

Consultation and engagement The Council has carried out an extensive consultation process with children, their carers and siblings this year. The information will influence future service delivery. Families will be informed of the outcome via our quarterly newsletter which is distributed through schools and pre- school settings. Families and staff will be involved in the implementation of Self Directed Support. Plans are being taken forward to have a staff and a separate parent/carer checkpoint group to inform the design process of the new support option.

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Arrangements will continue to ensure that children with disability have an opportunity to share their experiences and to help shape with our service delivery. Children/young people were fully involved in the design process for the new Seaview build. Their contribution and creative ideas have been fully incorporated and can be seen throughout their new building. Plans to train a number of staff on a communication aid called Talking Mats will ensure children with communication needs have a voice within the services provided.

Background reading / external references Social Work Services for Children with Disabilities - Report to Education and Children and Families Committee 09/10/2012 The Same as You Consultation Report – 2000 - 2012

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Report Social Work Services for Children with Disabilities: Annual Progress Report 1.



The legislative base for the current provision of services for children and families affected by disability is underpinned by The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 to: • Minimise the effect on a disabled child within the authority’s area. • Give these children the opportunity to lead lives as normal as possible. • Carry out an assessment of the child/young person and family


The Social Care (Self –directed Support) Bill is likely to come into effect by 2014. This will place a duty on the Local Authority to explain the nature and effect of four options for future care packages. The options will be: • A Direct Payment • An Individual Service Fund (this is an indicative budget which enables families to meet agreed assessed outcomes in a creative person centred way). • A Local Authority Delivery of Service • A mix of the above options.


The Bill’s remit will encompass: • Children “in need” as well as disabled children • 16 and 17 year olds being able to direct their own care • Views of Children/young people being taken into account


Support to Children and Young People are developing the implications of this legislation closely with Health and Social Care. Work streams are being identified which will enable this service to be offered by 2014. Plans will be taken forward to consult and seek the views of children, families and professionals on the setting up and implementation of a new assessment tool and policy to inform this process.


The Children and Young People’s Bill 2013 will provide further legislative support to work by focussing on improving outcomes through earlier support and joined up services.


The Scottish Households Survey (2009) suggests 5% of 0-15 year olds have a disability or long term illness that limits their daily activity. The predicted mid-year estimates for 2011 suggest there are 78,074 0-16 year olds in Edinburgh. This suggests there are up to 3,900 0-16 year olds in Edinburgh with a disability and/or long term illness that limits their daily activity.

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The number of children and young people in Scotland is predicted to decrease over the next 10 years. The number of children with severe and complex disabilities is increasing due to the advances in medical intervention and the growth in the early diagnosis of autism. There is also awareness of the impact of substance abuse on children who are affected during the gestational period.


Children affected by disability are 3-4 times more likely to be abused than nondisabled children. (NSPCC 2011) Research has evidenced that children with communication impairments, behavioural disorders, learning disabilities and sensory impairments are particularly vulnerable. (Sullivan and Knutson 2000)


Main report


The Council, through The Early Years Change Fund has increased the funds available for Playscheme Provision for children with a disability from £456.000 in 2012 to £812,000 in 2013/14.This was in response to views expressed by families in Edinburgh who cared for children with a disability. Edinburgh families have given very positive feedback to this enhanced vital support service. Some of the funding has been able to be accessed this year and the increase in service is shown below. Playscheme Places 3000 2400

2500 2000 1500




2012/13 2013/14 2014/15

500 0


Due to the level of new funding and legislation, the playscheme service is currently going through a procurement process. The outcome of this exercise will be shared with Council in late October 2013.


There has been a significant pressure in the numbers of children presenting in Edinburgh with severe and challenging behaviour due to the level of their autism. Their need for high staff ratios has stretched our in-house and commissioned services residential services. A real strength in Edinburgh is the collaboration and joint operational work carried out between Children and Families, Mental Health Service and Voluntary Sector colleagues together. The Disability Practice Team and The Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Learning Disability Team from The Royal Hospital for Sick Children and their Intensive Behaviour Team have played a crucial role in supporting our work with the

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children/young people involved. Caern (Barnardo's) and Action for Children also play a key role in our joint work around supporting and sustaining families in very difficult circumstances through residential respite. 2.4

Meetings are to be held with Health and providers to look at the growth/pressure being experienced and to plan for the future level of locally based support needed within Edinburgh. Families are clear that their option would be for a local high intensity support service rather than out of council residential establishments.


The Seaview Residential Respite Service has now moved to their new unit. The new building was designed with full consultation with the children and staff. The result is a fit for purpose creative space which has been welcomed by the children who attend and their families.


The unit has capacity for eight beds and will increase our residential provision in Edinburgh. There is also a small flat to support the Seaview children in independent living skills and can also be used for short periods with families who require an alternative home base for very short periods.


Self Directed Support legislation will be in place by 2014. This will mean that assessed need families with a disability or children assessed as being in need will be able to ask for an indicative budget to use in a creative way to meet agreed outcomes for their child/young person.


Currently families can ask for a direct payment which means that they take the responsibility to employ a carer to give a service or they can ask the Council to provide a service from a number of providers. Self directed support will be a new support option and can also involve a mixture of the options described depending on the family’s needs and budget.


Currently 124 children are offered residential respite. Six of this number are looked after and accommodated in Hillview due to family crisis. The remaining 118 receive short term respite breaks from residential units. Some families over and above this figure receive either shared care or respite breaks from Family Based Care.


There are 92 families offered day care packages and up to 50 other children a social group experience in a ‘club’ environment.


There is a waiting list for Seaview and Caern residential units (15 children) and no waiting list for day support packages.


The Occupational Therapy Team is a small team (six FTE) that offers two distinct service areas to children and families in Edinburgh. Two staff offer therapeutic programmes of intervention to children who attend Early Years Centres. The remaining staff are responsible for the assessment for adaptations for disabled children within the home environment.


Demographic pressures and improvements in medical interventions have led to significant increases in demand for the community occupational therapy service. The demand for adaptations has resulted in a waiting list due to the time

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consuming nature of each request. There has also been some difficulty in recruiting to vacant posts as fewer Occupational Therapists want to pursue Community work rather than paediatric therapeutic roles. 2.14

To address the challenges faced within this team an organisational review has begun. The review will propose new ways of delivering the service in the future. The review is currently active and it is hoped to be completed by November 2013.


The Social Work Disability team has 18 staff members. The Team currently hold 413 open family cases, 211 of these cases are allocated. Child Protection cases are allocated along with accommodated children in line with the other Social Work Practice Teams across the City. The team also hold a number of Permanency cases where it has been decided that the children cannot be returned home. Cases are allocated according to need and risk this results in a waiting list for some families. The team is pressured due to the growing numbers of families with children with a disability who need a level of support from the Council. The Disability Team will move to The Fort in October.



To recommend that the Education, Children and Families Committee: 3.1 3.2

Notes the progress made within social work services for children with disabilities. Requests a further report on progress in September 2014.

Gillian Tee Director of Children and Families


Coalition pledges


Council outcomes

CO1. CO2.

CO3. CO4. CO5.

Increase support for vulnerable children, including help for families so that fewer go into care Our children have the best start in life, are able to make and sustain relationships and are ready to succeed Our children and young people are successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens making a positive contribution to their communities Our children and young people in need, or with a disability, have improved life chances Our children and young people are physically and emotionally healthy Our children and young people are safe from harm or fear

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Single Outcome Agreement Appendices

of harm, and do not harm others within their communities CO6. Our children and young people’s outcomes are not undermined by poverty and inequality SO3. Edinburgh’s children and young people enjoy their childhood and fulfil their potential None

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